No one likes to think about mental decline in themselves or their loved ones. But, for many families, this is an incredibly important topic to address. In fact, 5.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, including 10% of people aged 65 and older. When they pass away, 1 in 3 seniors has Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.
As financial representatives, our goal is to always provide compassionate, proactive service to our clients and their families through every life stage. We have developed the following 4 recommendations to help you protect yourself and your loved ones from the potential risks of mental decline.1
1. Understand the Signs and Symptoms of Cognitive Decline
Distinguishing between cognitive impairment and common aging traits can be challenging. As we age, having forgetful moments can be normal, but other symptoms may indicate early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, including:2
• Memory loss that makes daily tasks difficult, such as asking the same questions repeatedly or forgetting new information
• Planning and problem-solving challenges, such as struggling to track bills or follow a recipe
• Vision changes, such as being unable to tell colors apart or judge distance accurately
• Confusion over time and place, such as getting lost easily or becoming disoriented
• Conversational challenges, such as forgetting words or not following when people are talking
These are just a few of the early warning signs of mental decline. If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, consult a physician and ask other family members to be on alert.
2. Schedule Family Discussions and Make Advanced Preparations
Sit down with your loved ones to talk through your feelings about aging and discuss what you would want to happen if your family became concerned about your mental capacity. If you have aging relatives, ask them about their current preparations and have them designate someone to check in regularly.
These conversations can bring up strong emotions, so focus on being patient, compassionate, and honest as you work together as a family.
3. Ensure Your Paperwork is in Order
Along with these important discussions with your family, you need to ensure you have the right legal protections for your financial future. Whether you are preparing for your own aging or your family members’, evaluate the strength of your legal documents, such as:3
• Living trust
• Durable power of attorney for health care
• Durable power of attorney for finances
Once your legal framework is in place, you also need to set up family protocols for when and how to start taking over financial affairs. If you do not have updated legal documents, we’re happy to recommend an experienced attorney from our network.
4. Know How We Can Help
We have helped many clients make these preparations, and we are always on the alert for warning signs of diminished capacity in our clients. We’re happy to provide guidance to you and your loved ones when you need us.
We also strongly recommend setting up formal legal documents to allow a trusted person to help you manage finances in the event of problems regarding mental decline, down the road.
We understand that mental decline is a difficult subject for many people. Through our support, we can help you ask the tough questions and take necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from risk. If you would like to discuss how to plan ahead, please call our office today at 303-741-9772.
Important Disclosure Information
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Dechtman Wealth Management, LLC [“DWM”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from DWM. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. DWM is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the DWM’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.dechtmanwealth.com.
Please Note: DWM does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to DWM’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.
Please Remember: If you are a DWM client, please contact DWM, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently.
Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.
"*" indicates required fields